So far this Fall I’ve really given butternut squash the cold shoulder. I see it at the local grocer and callously pass it by without a second thought. It hasn’t even enter my consciousness, really. Acorn squash I’ve roasted and made into soup, and the somewhat less common stripetti squash I’ve used in pasta. I even carved a sugar baby squash at Halloween. But butternut squash I’ve treated like a leper.
‘Why the butternut issues?,’ you might be asking yourself. I spend a fair amount of time gawking at recipes on the Internet (I’m sure anyone who follows this blog can relate), and because of the inundation of butternut squash recipes this time of year, I don’t really feel compelled to cook with it, as other people have already done it for me! Kinda silly, I know.
I was struck by the absurdity of my thinking last time I went grocery shopping. I strolled by a crate of cute, smaller-than-usual butternut squash, and suddenly felt like a bit of a jerk for making it this far into the Fall without giving them their due. So what if there are loads of butternut squash dishes in circulation this time of year? It’s a popular ingredient because – and I wholeheartedly agree on this point – it’s delicious! And I’m always on about taking advantage of what the season has to offer, so I banished my qualms on the spot and bought the dang squash!
So you’ll have to forgive me for throwing another recipe onto the already behemoth pile of butternut squash recipes out there. Hopefully it can bear my contribution without collapsing under the burden of its own weight! That being said, I had a nice time reacquainting myself with butternut squash. It smelled fantastic roasting alongside the potatoes in the oven, and combined with eggs and ricotta cheese it was nothing short of lip smacking! I couldn’t wait to be done taking photos so I could dig right in.
On a different note, this frittata signals progress in my quest both to expand my arsenal of savoury breakfast recipes (although it’s great for lunch and dinner, too), and – more pressingly – to decimate the 10 lb. bag of white potatoes from Ashcroft I was gifted by my sister-in-law. I think I’ve reduced the bag by about half, but I foresee a wild frenzy of mashed potato making in my near future, unless someone has a more creative suggestion!
Tip: If you want to get a head start on this dish you can roast your butternut squash and potatoes the night before and stick them in the fridge until morning. It also works great with roasted butternut squash and/or potato leftovers, if you happen to have any kicking around 🙂
Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash and Potato Frittata with Crispy Sage Leaves
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 medium white potato, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 1 small leek, diced (white and light green parts only)
- 1 shallot, diced
- 7 free-range eggs
- 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare squash and potatoes: Preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp with a spoon. Place cut side up in a casserole dish and drizzle each half with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 45-50 minutes, or until squash is tender and caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Once squash is in oven, place cut potato in a small casserole dish and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven alongside squash for 20 minutes, or until potato is tender and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add roasted potato and mash into smallish chunks using a potato masher or large fork. Set aside.
Prepare sage: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Place whole sage leaves in skillet for about 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Leaves will be a dark green when they’re ready; remove from heat before they turn brownish (brownish means they’ve burned). Remove leaves from skillet and place on a piece of paper towel to cool.
Finish frittata: Whisk together eggs and milk in a small bowl and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add diced leek and shallot and saute until soft.
Add mashed squash and potato to skillet and stir to combine with leek and shallot. Pour egg and milk mixture into skillet, season lightly with salt and pepper, and gently fold everything together. Dot the top of frittata with smallish bits of Ricotta cheese.
Leave skillet uncovered and let cook for 3-4 minutes, or until edge of frittata has set. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low, and let cook until cheese has melted and the centre of frittata has set, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and cut frittata into sixths. Serve, topping each portion with a couple sage leaves and freshly ground black pepper. Eat!